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Need a little advice here, not the norm for this section but completely relevant.

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  • Need a little advice here, not the norm for this section but completely relevant.

    My band is playing a benefit in August, and the soundman is offering to record any band's set for a small donation. All I know, is that he records primarily in analog, then changes it over to digital. My question is, in really, really, really simple terms, what are the tangible, audible differences between analog and digital? Like how will it sound in general? Is one better than the other? IF anyone could help me out to find out what kind of quality is possible without using TOO TOO much unexplained jargon, Ill rep you!!!
    One Brick of Vic Firth 5A wood tip hickory American Classics available. Got them as a prize for a drum competition, but I use 5B's. Very flexible on the pricing. PM for details.

    my band. http://www.facebook.com/pages/Eye-on...3489634?ref=ts

  • #2
    First of all the difference between an analog recording and a digital recording is negligible compared to all the other factors that are involved. In the studios I work, we still do a lot of our tracking on a couple of two inch analog machines that are time code synced together, when needed, for a total of 46 tracks of audio. You'll be much aware of the microphones that are used, their placement, outboard gear and the recording environment more than on what medium they are originally mastered to. As in your case everything will probably be mixed directly to two track analog through a stereo output from his board. I still do much of my own recording to analog multitrack here in my home studio on open reel. I don't know what amount of monetary donations he's talking about, but I wouldn't let the D/A thing affect your decision for a decent recording of the event.

    If he is mastering on a standard cassette machine I would be a bit leery on the quality, but again, a well maintained cassette machine running Dolby or DBX noise reduction is very capable of decent reproduction using the correct tape that the machine is biased for.

    Dennis

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    • #3
      Hmm that was kind of what I thought, that the mics and mic placement and all the other factors would be more important. thanks man, really.
      One Brick of Vic Firth 5A wood tip hickory American Classics available. Got them as a prize for a drum competition, but I use 5B's. Very flexible on the pricing. PM for details.

      my band. http://www.facebook.com/pages/Eye-on...3489634?ref=ts

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      • #4
        I would find it hard to believe that he carries a reel to reel around with him to record live shows. Those machines need some love, and can be finicky if they aren't treated properly. I would think it's more likely that he is using an analog console, then taking outputs from the console channels and putting those into a unit like the firepod and recording digital from there. If he carries around a reel to reel.... well that is just crazy.

        The difference between high-quality analog and high quality digital is becoming negligable. There is still some difference in the sound, and the argument is "warmth" in analog and "cold" in digital. The reality is that from a technical standpoint, digital colours the sound less. This can be good or bad, that is dependant on the artist(s), and the engineer/producer.
        -=Gord=-

        Need some Microphone info?

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        • #5
          It sounds like the sound man will be recording a two track mix onto a cassette tape deck, dumping that into a computer, and then burning a CD.

          The problem here isn't so much analog versus digital, but rather the mix itself. You have to keep in mind that the stereo mix off the board into the tape deck will be a mix for the venue you're working. It will not be anything like a mix you'd do in a studio when creating a CD to play in your car or on a home stereo. The differences between a recorded live mix and a studio mix can be extreme. The room will affect the mix, and the sound man won't be able to capture that sound when taking the stereo mix out from the board (unless he's using microphones and a separate mixer to record the FOH mix, but I doubt he's doing that). For example, if the room is boomy, the recorded vocals directly out of the board will be very dry because the room is essentially providing the reverb/echo.

          If the sound man is charging something nominal like $25, I would do it. If he's talking $100 or more, I'd pass on it because the final product is highly unlikely to be what you're thinking it will be. You can tweak a live mix off the board a little, but there's only so much you can do, and it'll never sound like it was recorded in a studio.

          Just FYI, when the big boys make a live recording, they usually use a splitter snake to send a separate feed to a completely separate mixer and recorder, or they use a digital mixer which sends a pre-fader, pre-EQ, pre-effects feed to a digital recorder. Then, long after the show is over, they'll mix it in a studio environment. In a nutshell, that's how they get studio quality sound with a live recording. They are most definitely not taking a stereo mix from the main board and burning that mix to CD.

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